Six accused of crimes related to virtual currency exchange activities | USAO-NH
CONCORDE: Six people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in New Hampshire and charged with participating in a conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmission business and other offenses, the lawyer said today Acting American John J. Farley. The people charged in the indictment are:
Ian Freeman (formerly Ian Bernard), 40, from Keene
Colleen Fordham, 60, from Alstead
Renee Spinella, 23, from Derry
Andrew Spinella, 35, from Derry
Person (formerly Richard Paul), 52, from Keene
Aria DiMezzo (formerly James Baker), 34, from Keene
Freeman, Fordham, Renee Spinella, Andrew Spinella and Nobody are also charged with wire fraud and participation in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ian Freeman is charged with money laundering and operating an ongoing financial crime business. Freeman and DiMezzo are also accused of operating an unlicensed money transfer business.
According to the indictment, since 2016, the defendants have been operating a business that allows customers to exchange more than ten million dollars in fiat currency for virtual currency, for a fee for their service. They operated their virtual currency exchange business using websites, as well as virtual currency ATMs in New Hampshire. The indictment alleges that the defendants knowingly operated the virtual currency exchange business in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and regulations. In furtherance of their scheme, the indictment alleges that some defendants opened bank accounts in the name of alleged religious entities. According to the indictment, some defendants then engaged in substantial efforts to evade detection of their illegal virtual currency exchange system by avoiding answering questions from financial institutions about the nature of the business and by fooling financial institutions into believing that their illegal virtual currency exchange activity was more of a religious organization receiving charitable donations.
All the defendants were arrested during a coordinated action by the police on Tuesday. They are scheduled to appear before a United States justice of the peace for the first time on Tuesday afternoon.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service in coordination with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The case is being pursued by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. MacDonald and Seth R. Aframe.
The charges in the indictment are only allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until their guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.